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Kenworth "Bullnose" Truck Tractor by Don Mills Models Review

Please note: The opinions expressed in our reviews are the views of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the 1/87 Vehicle Club.

model critique by Ken Goslett

For many model railroaders, the transition era between the steam locomotive and the diesel holds the greatest interest. Unfortunately, there are very few model trucks available for the 1945 to 1960 period.  Don Mills Models can help! Their product #87-15 is an excellent, easy to assemble model of a 1952 Bullnose Kenworth tractor.

Major parts are cast in polyurethane resin. The cab is an especially beautiful piece of work with crisp detail, almost no flash, and smooth sides and corners. It looks more like injection molded styrene than resin!

Door lines stand out in perfect uniform relief and the front windows are outlined with a delicate ridge that simulates gaskets. A rain gutter protrudes above the side windows and sweeps gracefully back along the side of the sleeper. Three vents are present on the cab sides along with a small "clearance window" on the passenger side. These combine with cab steps to create a remarkably realistic model.

Assembly is straight forward and simple. The three major components of chassis, interior and cab should be pre-painted first. The interior is then glued to the chassis above the engine and finally the cab is slipped over the interior, its rear edge coming to rest on a bracket on the chassis. All parts fit together well and do not require any filing.  CA or epoxy glue may be used to adhere the parts. No body putty is required.

I chose to omit the air horn supplied with the kit. It seemed too large for my tastes. I substituted an exhaust stack from an Athearn truck model and found a pair of Herpa mirrors in my vehicle parts supply box.

The kit's wheels are white metal castings with excellent looking rubber tires installed. The axle holes in the wheels are indistinct and not a perfect fit for the axles. In order to get the model "on the road" quickly, I swapped the wheels and tires for some plastic wheels from my parts box. At a later date I'll paint and install the kit's wheels.

The instructions recommend drilling out the chassis' axle holes with a #57 drill bit. This will help to get all wheels to sit "on the road". I had difficulty getting the rear of the tandem set to touch the ground. A bit of oversize drilling of the axle hole created enough vertical compliance to cure the problem.

The finished model is accurately scaled and a real beauty. It is an effective counterpoint to the massive cabovers that we see on today's highways.

Ken Goslett

More information: 1952 Kenworth Bullnose Tandem Tractor with Sleeper by Don Mills Models, P.O. Box 325, Seekonk, MA 02771 Phone:  508-336-9422.